The brain is one of the most complex and mysterious organs known, giving life to art, sport, personality, and morals. With over 86 billion neurons, 2.5 million gigabytes of storage, and over 50,000 thoughts per day, the human brain is truly astounding.
Here are some human brain facts that will make you think twice:
1. According to Paul Reber, Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, the human brain can store an estimated 2,500,000 gigabytes. That’s equivalent to 300 years worth of TV shows.
2. The human attention span is shorter than a goldfish. Research shows that the average attention span has decreased by an average 12 minutes over the last 10 years. Today, the human attention span is shorter than a goldfish.
3. On average, the adult brain weighs three pounds. The brain is 73 percent water. It only takes 2 percent dehydration to affect your attention and memory.
4. The brain uses 20 percent of the body’s total oxygen and energy, which travels to the brain through blood vessels. Nerve cells in the brain need a lot of energy; without adequate oxygen and energy to the central nervous system tissue, one can suffer impaired brain functions and neurological disorders.
5. When intoxicated, the brain is incapable of forming memories. So no, you didn’t “forget” what happened last night. The memory simply was never formed.
6. Research shows that the cognitive speed of your brain starts slowing down when you’re around 24 years old.
7. 95 percent of all decisions take place in the subconscious mind. This means that the vast majority of our actions and behaviours occur due to brain activity that lies beyond our conscious awareness.
8. With roughly 100 billion brain cells, more than 100,000 chemical reactions take place in the brain every second.
9. The brain generates between 12 and 25 watts of electricity—that’s enough to power a low wattage light bulb!
10. Memories start forming in the womb, as this is a critical time for brain development. Memory recall can occur as early as four months into pregnancy.